Carson City shows appreciation for mural
FAST FACTS: the mural
- Burke used six different colors for the blue and gray blends. He used four different tones to create the teal.
- From left of the mural, the faces include Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight-boxing champion, who won the Fight of the Century in Reno in 1910. Then Bertha Raffetto, who wrote Nevada’s state song in 1932; Abraham Curry, the founder of Carson City; Sarah Winnemucca, the first Native American woman to publish an autobiography; Kit Carson, the American frontiersman who the city was named after; and Julia Bulette, one of the first independent women in business in the area during the mid-1800s.
When Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell observed the masterpeice on the south wall of C-A-L Ranch on North Carson St., he expressed nothing but awe by the vastness of its colors.
“I’m really impressed,” he said. “It’s art in the making.”
Locals and officials gathered at the mural Tuesday afternoon to honor its completion, as it depicts portraits of six historical figures of Nevada, with the words “Home Means Nevada” blended — perfect timing for Nevada Day.
“It’s tremendous for McDonald’s to support this,” Crowell said.
Directly across the mural is McDonald’s, owned by Chris Kassity. He’s been wanting to revitalize the wall with art across from his restaurant.
That’s why he hired local muralist Erik Burke from Reno.
“It was a waste of space before,” he said. “I researched local artists in the general area and discovered his work.”
Kassity made it happen by encourage Crowell and C-A-L Ranch to support the project.
For Burke, it’s only one of the many murals in his collection. Burke has been spray painting the mural on a 9-to-5 shift for about two weeks.
“It’s the who’s who of Nevada history,” he said. “It’s amazing how much your space can change with a thin layer of paint.”
Many locals ordering from McDonald’s or walking by shouted praise at the artist. Since Burke prefers to paint with music, some threw rocks at him just to grab his attention and compliment his work.
“It was great to meet everyone in Carson City and receive so much support,” he said.
Burke has been spray painting since he was 18 and started painting murals in 2004. Since then, he’s painted murals across the country, and in small towns in Italy, Norway, South Korea and Switzerland.
Many of Reno’s recognizable murals are also Burke’s creation, such as the portrait downtown on E. Commercial Row, and the sidewall on the former Maytan Music Center.
More of Burke’s artwork can be seen on his website at erikburke.com or on Instagram, @ou35.